Right mouse button menus

I am sure it must have been discussed somewhere. Why does Audacity make little (or no?) use of the right mouse button for pop up menus? For instance “find zero crossings” and “repeat last effect” are very common things I do with my selection and it might be nice to do that all one handed.

Historical. Audacity was initially developed on OS X which was several years behind Windows in adopting right-click. Apple’s mice were left-click only so the only way to right-click was to hold CTRL while clicking :astonished:

To people on Windows, the lack of right-click in Audacity is baffling and annoying (IMO).


I know only two uses of right mouse in Audacity for Windows, for zooming out in the vertical rulers, and with the magnifier tool. I see comments in ToolsToolBar.cpp suggest that this tool is very different on the other operating systems.

You can see all the mouse bindings on this page in the Manual: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/mouse_preferences.html


You can also right-click in Meter Toolbar or over a label.

You mean:

#if defined( __WXMAC__ )
   wxTRANSLATE("Click to Zoom In, Shift-Click to Zoom Out"),
#elif defined( __WXMSW__ )
   wxTRANSLATE("Drag to Zoom Into Region, Right-Click to Zoom Out"),
#elif defined( __WXGTK__ )
   wxTRANSLATE("Left=Zoom In, Right=Zoom Out, Middle=Normal"),

for Zoom Tool?

It works the same on all OS’es now, as stated in the Manual. On any OS, you can SHIFT-click or right-click to zoom out, or middle-click to zoom normal. I’ve made a note to update those status bar messages after 2.0.6. I see no need for a different message except (possibly) for zoom out on Mac for anyone who still has a left-click only mouse.


Then you should also note that the mouse preferences that waxcylinder pointed to omit Shift left click fr Zoom.

For zoom out, yes thanks. Noted. SHIFT + left click is mentioned elsewhere for zooming out, as far as I can tell.


Gale, I just learned another thing!

Shift and right click in the vertical ruler of a wave track, in any one of the view types, jumps to maximum zoom out.

But the status bar message doesn’t mention it, and I just learned it by reading code. I wish I had known it sooner!


I added SHIFT + right-click to the Manual a few weeks ago - it’s a new feature in 2.0.6.

Note that this goes to normal zoom level, rather than maximum zoom out (you can zoom out one more step with right-click, after SHIFT + right-click).

I notice that although hovering on the vertical scale appears to enable Zoom Tool, the hover doesn’t enable Zoom Tool SHIFT + drag to zoom out on a range. And SHIFT + right-click over the waveform with Zoom Tool or Multi-Tool on doesn’t zoom to normal. Shouldn’t it? With those inconsistencies, we can’t really mention SHIFT + right-click in Mouse Preferences.


First, sorry I’m a fool and forget that it’s 2.0.6 code I’m reading. So, it’s new behavior. But it is not mentioned in the status bar message.

The status bar message in 2.0.5 is

Click to vertically zoom in. Shift-click to zoom out. Drag to specify a zoom region.

It was an incomplete description in 2.0.5, not mentioning the right click behavior (without shift), and it is unchanged in 2.0.6. I suppose “shift-click to zoom out” might be an inexact description covering both shift-button actions? (And is “region” the correct word?)

The six tool buttons affect what the cursor does only when it is in the sample data. So what the mouse does outside that area is independent of the tool, and not mentioned in mouse preferences. In particular what the mouse does when over the vertical ruler is summarized by the status bar message, not the preferences. So completing the description would not be an inconsistency with preferences.

Do you agree with that?

I suppose though I am just a couple days late pointing that out, you’ve just finished internationalizing the messages.

… or do you mean to suggest that shift-right click in the magnifier tool inside the track should now have a zoom-all behavior too (perhaps horizontally not vertically, what ctrl-F does)? I suppose that might make things more consistent…

I never use the maginifer too myself, but I will be pleased to have the new behavior in the vertical ruler. That fills a gap that I have felt. Repeated right-click to zoom all again vertically was a mild nuisance.

Yes, it’s incorrect. I made a note about it but we can’t get into wording discussions now.

I think so.

The status bar messages must be correct, irrespective. However if we use the same mouse pointer for zoom tool as we do for hover over vertical scale (whichever tool is selected) it does suggest to me that Zoom Tool and hover over vertical scale should be acting the same where there is a comparable command.

Yes. The vertical scale code describes SHIFT + right-click as doing default zoom, but you could see SHIFT + right-click over the vertical scale as a “Fit” command, so SHIFT + right-click over the waveform with Zoom Tool selected could do Fit in Window (CTRL + F).

I also realise now from looking in Mouse Preferences that middle-click with Zoom Tool over the waveform does zoom normal (what CTRL + 2 does), so that is another reason that SHIFT + right-click should do fit rather than the same as middle button.

And if so, Multi-Tool should do the same. SHIFT + right-click would fit to window instead of the same as right-click (zoom out one step). Middle-click would zoom normal instead of doing nothing.


I just thought, maybe two slightly different magnifier images could convey the suggestion that these are not exactly the same tools, such as reflecting the little cursor about its vertical axis when it crosses into the ruler?

So this is about completing the analogies between the two magnifiers.

I’m guessing none of this is difficult to implement, but surely they are ideas for 2.0.7 or later.

If the behaviours are going to be different between Zoom Tool and vertical scale, I think the pointer icon should also look different when over the vertical scale.